NEWS

Hotel management at a Donegal hotel insist leisure centre will close

Staff Reporter

Reporter:

Staff Reporter

Hotel management insists leisure centre will close

The leisure centre of the Bayview Hotel will close next month.

The managing director of the Bay View Hotel in Killybegs has reiterated that the hotel’s leisure centre will be closing next month because it is not financially viable.

Henry Coleman was speaking following a meeting in Killybegs on Wednesday night when the issue of the closure was discussed.

Local people are calling for the leisure centre to be kept open because its pool serves local schools and groups. The hotel announced in June that the leisure centre will close in September.

“The leisure centre will close on September 1st. It’s not financially viable,” Mr Coleman told the Donegal Democrat. “It’s just not viable and it will be closing, but the hotel is not closing. It will still  be trading as the Bayview Hotel.” He said the leisure centre is available for lease.

The meeting, which is a regular meeting organised by Cllr Niamh Kennedy, heard from a professional in the Irish leisure business who promised to help in a voluntary capacity with efforts to keep the swimming pool and leisure centre from closing.

Mr Coleman told the meeting that the leisure centre had lost €70,000 last year and such losses could not be sustained. The losses had been continuing since 2013. For the first five months of this year, the loss was €30,000, he said.

Membership fees totalling €47,000 at present were not enough to cover wages in the leisure centre , apart from the other costs, he revealed. “We are happy with the way the hotel in general is going, but not the leisure centre .”

He said that if the centre could not be leased within the month, it would close on September 1st.

He emphasised that the leisure centre is the only part of the Bay View business that was closing.

Asked by Thomas Pringle TD if it might be possible to extend the closing date to allow for a drive to increase membership, Mr Coleman said: “We are not closing the leisure centre until 1st September and I will listen to anything between now and then.”

Niall Cull, CEO of DLR Leisure, Dublin, said he had only heard on Tuesday about the difficulties with the Bay View leisure centre and he remarked that such problems were not uncommon in the hotel industry.

He told the meeting: “If I can help in any way, I will.”

Mr Cull, who is on holidays in the south west Donegal area, said he has 30 years' experience in the leisure business, beginning in hotel management.

He explained that DLR Leisure now works closely with public authorities and educational institutions and suggested that there might be possibilities in that direction for the Killybegs leisure centre .

Councillor Kennedy pointed out that if the leisure centre closes, it will affect other businesses in the area.

It was agreed that a committee would be set up to help co-ordinate efforts to keep the swimming pool and leisure centre from closing.